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Luffness Old Golf Club, East Lothian. (1867 - 1894)

The original Luffness Golf Club Links, founded 1867, were laid out to the west of the present course.

The location of the old course was more or less north of Luffness House, over the other side of Peffer Burn. The course started over the wooden bridge that now leads into the bird sanctuary. This was the main walking track from Aberlady to Gullane. The clubhouse was just on the right over the bridge and there is still a building there, which is almost 1,000 meters or so west of the present Luffness New clubhouse.

On Monday 16th June 1871 members of the Luffness Golf Club met to play for the prize presented by Major Hope, president of the club. Mr J Brodie and Mr A Brown tied with a score of 84, the tie was decided in favour of Mr Brodie. Despite the recent bad weather the links were in excellent condition.

In 1878 John Ernest Laidlay, a most successful amateur golfer, became a member of Luffness Golf Club and in the same year won his first medal with a score of 77, this remained a record for several years.

John Laidlay, born in 1860, was educated at Loretto School. Musselburgh Links were close by and this gave him the opportunity to hone his game. Laidlay was first to use the overlapping grip years before Harry Vardon or J H Taylor adopted it.

On Monday 19th January 1880 the members played for a set of clubs presented by H W Hope. Mr A Murray won the first prize with a score  91. Mr J Smith was second, 103-14-89 ahead of Mr J Wybard who had a "similar score."

There was a large entry for the annual Monday Handicap competition played in January 1884, result; W H Bryden, 90-6-84; D Kinloch, 90-9-81; Rev Kerr, 97-10-87; A Murray, 88 scratch.

On Saturday 30th May 1885 the Wemyss handicap medal was won by Mr J Todrick, 102-15-87.


Luffness Old Golf Club, Aberlady, East Lothian. Entry from the 1888/89 Golfing Annual.


Luffness Old Golf Club, Aberlady, East Lothian. Entry from the 1888/89 Golfing Annual.

Above is the entry from the Golfing Annual 1888/89.


It was reported in the Edinburgh Evening News in January 1893 that Mr Henry Walter Hope "is not at present on good terms with members of Luffness Golf Club". It's probable that this dispute escalated and eventually lead to the closure of Luffness Old course.


Luffness Old Golf Club, Aberlady, East Lothian. Result of the Hope Scratch Medal August 1893.

From the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News Saturday 26th August 1893. Image © Illustrated London News Group.


Luffness Old Golf Club, East Lothian. Old course layout.

Layout of the course (1867 – 1894) taken from the Rev John Kerr’s book Golf in East Lothian 1896.


In 1894 a number of members from the original club broke away to form the Luffness New Golf Club. The course included nine original holes from Luffness Old Club.

Although the Old Course was once completely separate parts of the former course are now being used by Lufness New (the western parts of the current holes nine to eleven and parts of holes fourteen to seventeen) and by Gullane 2 (holes twelve and thirteen)

Luffness New Golf Club is probably the oldest “New” course in the world. It was created in 1894 by Tom Morris. 

The Google Map below pinpoints the location of the Old course.